November 16, 2015: What I Learned from Vacation


I started writing this blog on Sunday, October 18th, shortly after boarding a plane heading home. We were straight off of a blissful one week vacation through the beautiful serenity of Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Tonight I am going to finish what I started. A bit of 'the rest of the story'.

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Vacation is in the books. And I learned a lot. There were some 'aha' moments and some 'what were you thinking?' thoughts. Amazing what a little down time away from the daily grind does for both the brain and the soul.

First revelation. I missed reading, writing, and quiet time. I missed these things a lot. My state of constant motion and nonsensical busyness really hasn't added to my quality of life.

Next revelation. I miss staying in contact with my family and friends. How did I let this happen? Definitely a lapse in judgment on my part.

Biggest revelation. I really missed normalcy with a focus on the things most important in life.

Things have been crazy for me over the last few years. Very crazy. I have quickly concluded that life is too short for crazy. I am too tired, too old, and now too smart for crazy. Call me a slow study, but at age 48, I get it. Nothing replaces the comforts of a loving husband, healthy parents, thriving children, reliable friends, and a faithful pup.

Faith. The funny thing about crazy is that it occupies time and conversation. It takes way from focus on faith and family. It's warped and tainted views on priorities sets the tone to what is perceived as most important in life.

As Garrett and I walked through Glacier National Park with no company but hiding critters, Garrett explained his interpretations of the Book of Job to me. Great conversations followed on the meaning of the scriptures. I have miss these uninterrupted conversations on what really matters centered on the real Book of life.

Priorities. Although one can conclude that chasing the crazy train for an extended period would result only in negative results, there is some silver lining. My occasional neglect of the Lane boys has resulted in unexpected results. They not only survived, but are are actually thriving better with me out of the way.

A month into his sophomore year, Ben and I were having a conversation about his classes and new apartment. Upon reflection, I realized I hadn't a clue on how Ben's sophomore year came together.

Me "Ben, I haven't helped you a bit this year. Sounds like you got everything figured out for housing and classes? Sorry if I left you hanging."

Ben "That's okay, Mom. I got it all figured out. And don't worry, it actually felt pretty good to do it myself."

We will call that one an unintended score to the positive.

Reflection is a good thing and tomorrow is a new day. I can court crazy or I can choose the good life.

Fast forward a month.

I sit in the quiet of my house. I have kept up on the Book of Job and am pretty certain I will complete this month's book in time for my book club in December. I haven't actually finished a book in some time. Score.

The refrigerator is filled with leftovers from home cooked meals and Grant has happily shared with me his night as we go about our quiet, but happy, existence together. Although Garrett is in Colorado, we look forward to a Thanksgiving road trip from Indiana with his dad. Two guys, a gal, a whole lot of gun equipment, and a big truck. Not a doubt that I will be blogging daily on that excursion.

The Huskers are winning again and Bluejay basketball has begun. Yes, life is back to normal. And although I haven't been blogging regularly, I have been busy writing hand-written notes and sending cards to my neglected family. One note resulted in a long overdue dinner with my Aunt Joan tonight. With her wiener dog dressed in a hot dog bun (ketchup, mustard and all the trimmings), Joan played the piano while I grilled the burgers.

And work, you ask? Quiet. My favorite reflection of last week was an elderly man dressed in his Sunday best. He was pushing his wife in her wheelchair with flowers in hand. She wore a chiffon dress and a big smile. I got a bit weepy-eyed seeing this couple as I thought of my own grandparents, long gone now. How they looked forward to their days out for these much anticipated appointments.

A shared smile and an exchange of pleasantries with this lovely couple reminded me that we were on the same page. Enjoy each day with the ones you love. Always dress up. And never ever forget to stop and smell the roses.

One of Paul's creations at Think's Agora bar


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